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FamilyOldPhotos.com > Find Your Ancestors

Find Your Ancestors

Start a family tree on line. 

It's quick and easy - and FREE.  And, its a really good way to keep track of the ancestors you known about and find the ones you've been looking for.  You don't need a lot of information to get started.  Start with some information you know, and the "Hints" will help you through the rest.  Start Your Family Tree>>
A lot of folks are starting their trees on line and connecting with other researchers who are working on the same family lines. Over 5 million people were added to family trees at ancestry.com last week alone.  Add over 80,000 photos to that, and your chances of finding lost ancestors increase each week!
One of the things I liked is that I could start my tree without having all the birth dates, death dates, etc.  I just entered a few names and the "hints" found the information for me!

Here's what I did on my tree in about 10 minutes. 

I started with my tree with my great grandfather. I added him and his parents names to the tree and planned to add his birth and death dates, marriage, etc. later on.  When I looked at my tree again, my great grandfather's birth and death dates and places showed up in the "Hints" section. You can see where the dates were automatically added under his name (above). I didn't even have to type them in.  I just selected the records that were his and the information was added to my great grandfather's record.

The little green leaf next to "Ancestry Hints" flashes when it finds new information that could be related to your ancestors.  When I clicked on it, I got a list of records that could belong my great grandfather.  I quickly scanned the list and sure enough, 3 of the 4 records were his!  So, now I have the 1920 and 1930 census records which show my great grandparents and their children and the listing of my grandfather in the Social Security Death Index.  And I haven't done any searching yet!

Add that to the first two records that "Ancestry Hints" found (my great grandfather's World War II draft registration card - would you believe he registered for the draft at age 62 - and his listing in the California Death Index) and I feel like I'm well on my way to building a family tree!

Another really great feature that I found in the family tree is the timeline.  It gives a real quick glance at the events in my great-grandfather's life. He was 21 when he got married right after the turn of the century.  I can't wait to add some of my mother's stories about him. And what I remember.  (He had this apricot tree...) And, I can do that with the "Add a Story" and "Add Audio" features.  Maybe I could get my mother on tape telling the stories!

And, of course, I need to add some photos of my great grandfather, too.  Oh.  I could add that photo of my great grandparents holding me as a baby.  I'm sure I was their favorite great grandchild. (Ok, I was the only one who lived close by.) 

Also, I thought I'd add some old postcard photos of the towns that my great grandfather lived in.  It's a good way to help me visualize what things must have looked like when he and my great grandmother lived there.

Speaking of my grandmother, I added her name and her parents' names (and again, no birth or death date), and when I looked a little later at my tree, the leaf next to "Hints" was flashing. It had found census records for her from 1880 and 1900, when she was still living with her parents.  I never realized that her grandfather lived with them.  I also found a possible connection with a researcher working on the same family!

All of this in about 10 minutes. I'm anxious now to put in a few more ancestors and see what the "hints" section finds!

Getting More Than Just Help

Right now my family tree is private.  You have a choice of who you want to see it.  You can make it public and let everyone see it.  Or keep it private and invite a few family members, friends, etc. to see it.

And, you can invite family members to help on your tree.  I have one cousin with a lot of family photos that I've never seen. She just might be getting an invite.

You can choose the level of participation for each person you invite - whether they can be a "contributor" or just a "guest" if you want them to be able to view information on living people.  I thought that was a great feature.

So, now when I have a few spare minutes, I'm going to "check-in" with my tree and see what's going on - see if the little green leaf has found me any more "hints".  I've always thought my great grandmother's father was dropped off by aliens.  Can't wait to see what "Ancestry Hints" finds for me on him!

If you haven't started your family tree at ancesty.com, You really ought to try it out. It's free. (You will need to set up a user name with an email address and password, so the system will know that its your family tree.)

I didn't think I'd like it at all; I'm not a big tree-building person.  I figured I'd have to get out my shoebox of information and dig out the death dates and birth dates and stuff to start the tree.  I didn't.  I had fun building it.  The hints were a great help.  I have information I didn't have before and it's neatly organized and I can get back in to it quickly.  And, when I print out the information I have on our family tree so far and give it to my mother, she'll be impressed.  I won't tell her it only took 10 minutes.

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